Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand Reference Speaker, Aesthetix Mimas Integrated Amplifier, Chord Qutest DAC, VPI Super Prime Scout Turntable and Voyager Phono Preamplifier

Room 516 from A La Carte Productions rooms at the Florida Audio Expo both featured speakers from Austria's Vienna Acoustics: the North American debut of the Beethoven Baby Grand Reference ($9498/pair). Said to have been three years in the making, the new model is the younger sibling to the larger and aptly named Beethoven Concert Grand Reference tower; the two models share similar drivers and technologies. A La Carte's second room featured the Spendor 9.2. [This paragraph has been edited. - JA2]

The three-way, reflex-loaded Beethoven Baby Grand Reference incorporates a patented flat concentric array, called a Composite Cone, with a flat main driver and a smaller inner section made of coated fabric. This transducer design, said to deliver a high level of transparency and phase accuracy, is based on an earlier one found in Vienna Acoustics' upper-tier speakers, such as the Liszt, but needed to be completely overhauled to fit within the Baby Grand cabinet's smaller-scale dimensions. The tweeter is a soft dome with a dispersion grille. The crossovers are also a completely new design.

The 150Wpc Aesthetix Mimas integrated amplifier ($7000) powered the 88dB-sensitive Baby Grands in a system with a Chord Electronics Qutest DAC ($1695) as the digital source and a VPI Super Prime Scout turntable ($3400) and Voyager phono preamplifier ($2500). Luminous Audio Technology provided cables, and power conditioning was via a Tweak Geek Dark Matter Energy Harmonizer ($2499).

On a quick listen to a vinyl copy of the National's "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness," early in the song I heard some background percussion beats that, through lesser systems, tend to remain hidden among the layers within the soundstage. Though the Baby Grand towers aren't tiny, they seemed capable of projecting bigger, fuller sound than one might expect.

David Sckolnik's picture

Hi Julie- It was great to meet you- it was also obvious to our entire team that you were doing a great job covering FAE... and thanks for the positive write-up on our Suite 516. Just to be sure- in Suite 513 we were showing the new Spendor D9.2 - not an additional Vienna Speaker. We love both lines. So glad the mag put you to work down here in paradise!